Gamow, Batman and the shocks

Shock generation is a leading topic in nonlinear physics and optics. Shock waves occur whenever one enters highly nonlinear regimes either in time or in space.
Among the mysterious dynamics of shock wave generation there is the origin of the undular bores, i.e., the fast oscillations that regularize the wave-breaking after the shock. The features of the undular bores are very difficult to understand theoretically.

A typical phenomenon is the appearance of the “Batman ears” in the optical intensity when the shock occurs. Beyond numerical simulations, we do not have a complete theoretical description of this effect.

In a paper published in Optics Express, Maria Chiara Braidotti, Silvia Gentilini and Claudio Conti show that Gamow vectors of the reversed harmonic oscillator provide a new theoretical tool for the quantitative description of spatial shock waves in nonlocal media. The analytical calculations perfectly reproduce our experiments. This opens a number of possibilities for describing and controlling the shock waves in highly nonlocal and non-instantaneous media. The results also show the validity of the novel theoretical methods inherited by the so-called “time-asymmetric quantum-mechanics.”

The picture above shows the comparison between experiments and the analytically calculated Gamow vectors.

Black holes evaporate, black holes are solitons, solitons evaporate !

The fact that black holes are solitons is not very well known. Abdus Salam and others outlined this issue several years ago. Stephen Hawking predicted that Black Holes evaporate, and this is a quantum effect on classical gravity governed by the highly nonlinear Einstein-Hilbert equations.

Leone Villari, Ewan Wright, Fabio Biancalana and Claudio Conti report on the possibility that all types of classical solitons may evaporate in the quantum regime. A paper in the arXiv contains the theory on the exact quantization of the nonlinear Schroedinger equation: solitons emit a blackbody radiation spectrum at a temperature given by the same formula of Hawking!

This result is intriguing. On one hand, because it represents the first theoretical prediction of the Hawking radiation in a fully nonlinear quantum field theory. The standard Hawking theory relies on the quantization of a linear field in a curved background. The theory may hence provide insights for a true quantum gravity based on the complete quantization of the Einstein-Hilbert equations.

On the other hand, the result is also important because the Hawking radiation from a quantum soliton may furnish a novel highly tunable quantum source with many possible applications.

Generalized Uncertainty Principle and the Photon (Templeton project)

In recent years, researchers question about the limits of the uncertainty relation.

Hints from quantum gravity theories suggest that the Heisenberg principle should be generalized.

Some considered implications in high energy physics, others have considered the mechanical motion of massive objects to look for possible tests of these supposed limits to the most important paradigm of quantum mechanics.

In a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation, we consider the case of the photon, and study the possible way a generalized uncertainty principle may play a role in modern photonics, nonlinear and quantum optics.

The project started in 2015 and will finish in 2017, stay tuned.

Related posts:

The Quest for Quantum Gravity in Optics

The Math of Irreversibility

Black holes evaporate, Black are solitons, solitons evaporate !


The ERC Proof of Concept Grant VANGUARD, acronym for Versatile optomechanicanical graphene device for bio-tissue engineering aims at the realization of a novel bio-inspired laser-driven bio-templating approach for antibacterial surfaces and for tissue engineering.

The project lasts 18 months, ends in September 2016 and is funded by 150keuros

Antibacterial Action of Graphene